By James Blackerby
The Republican Party must change if we expect our party to start winning more elections. That is the bottom line. This country is changing in a lot of great ways, but for some reason, many Republicans are unwilling to change with the times. Some Republicans running in this election severely tarnished the name of our party.
People such as Todd Akin from Missouri who stated that if it is a legitimate rape the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down and Richard Mourdock from Indiana who said that if a woman got raped it was because God intended it to happen, create distractions and distort the larger issues of the election. I was personally ashamed that these two men were not run out of town by members of our own party. When Akin first made those comments there were several Republicans who called for him to step down, but there were others such as former presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee who stood alongside Akin and his disgraceful comments. Then there is Rush Limbaugh who called Sandra Fluke a “slut” for asking government to pay for her birth control. All of these comments take away from the larger issue of the terrible job Obama is doing. These comments provided a break in the attention that was going to Obama’s poor handling of the economy and instead switched the focus to women’s rights. The Republican party allowed two men to single-handedly create the notion that Republicans are anti-women. These two men should have been ostracized for the idiots that they are. Instead of the Republicans creating a solid wall of opposition to these two men and their comments, men such as Huckabee and others made it seem as if these views are actually entertained by other Republicans, which brought our whole party lower.
Religion should have no place in our party’s decisions. I’m not saying that people running for office can’t tell people that they believe in God or what their religious viewpoints are, but don’t use God as a reason for being against gay marriage. Why is it that the majority of Republicans are against gay marriage? We are supposed to be the party that is against larger government and for freedom for the individual. We cannot preach for smaller government and greater responsibility for individuals and then say we are against gay marriage. It is not the government’s place to tell society who can marry who. Who are you to say you can’t marry someone when you love them? If we are for smaller government we cannot insert ourselves into the lives of individuals. That is not preaching freedom and personal responsibility. What two people do in their own homes is none of our business and we should treat it as such.
Let’s be honest. There is no way that there will be laws created saying abortion is legal or illegal. America is split right down the middle in regard to abortion. So instead of spending so much time and risk alienating large groups of people talking about abortion why not state your opinion in a single sentence: I am pro-life and let that be the end of it. Abortion is how people like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock drag the rest of us down with their moronic viewpoints. Republicans and Democrats could argue that cats are better than dogs but no party is going to make it illegal to have one. Abortion is the same way.
Immigration is another issue that we need to rethink. This election Obama got 70 percent of the Hispanic vote. That is a staggering amount of votes. Hispanics generally vote Democrat because they have a more relaxed stance on immigration. Instead of shouting that we need to deport every single illegal immigrant in this country, we should talk about the bigger picture. Illegal immigration is a problem because this country’s borders are not secure. If you lived in a generally poor country with no prospect of having a better life would you not try to go somewhere where your kids can have a better future and become something in this world? If you knew all you had to do was cross a river or climb through a fence in order to have a better life, would you not do that? I for one can say that without a doubt I would. Instead of punishing the immigrants who made an easy decision to try to have a better life we need to focus on border security. When Republicans get in front of the public and spout off that we need to get rid of these illegal aliens who have no business being here it makes us look terrible. It is America’s fault that illegal immigrants could get into this country in the first place. Republicans need to say that we need to secure the border and allow those that came into this country illegally, searching for a better life, to stay. That in and of itself could help us get at least some Hispanic votes.
As Republicans we must change with the times. We must cast out the people who make inflammatory remarks that are borderline insane. We need to rethink our stance on gay marriage and immigration. If we can do this it will be inevitable that we win more elections, cycle after cycle.
James Blackerby is an international studies senior. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.